11:32 PM EST, January 11, 2012
A bill has been introduced that would require all Indiana public schools to start at the same time, later in the summer. Similar bills have failed in the past, but State Senator Mike Delph, R-Carmel, said he is confident he will have more success this time around.
Delph said classrooms are too hot in early August. It is one of several reasons why he is, again, proposing that Indiana schools start after Labor Day.
“I think you ought to allow kids to be kids, families to be families and enjoy their summer,” said Delph.
A mother at the committee meeting spoke Wednesday saying, “we want to spend time with our students and with our children. They're going to be gone before we know it.
The bill language, however, explains it would not be effective until the 2014-2015 calendar year.
Delph also wants to get rid of the 180-day school year requirement for certain school corporations. That would allow the school corporations to shorten or lengthen the school day and even limit school to four days a week.
There are two other components of Senator Delph's bill. He wants to require cursive writing in classes in all public and private schools as well as restore single-class basketball."When we had a one class basketball tournament in this state, it was a time that brought our state together,” said Delph.
But small school principals disagree.
“The opportunity is huge. Not just for us but other small schools. I'm not just talking about Blackhawk.”
A copy of the bill is available online. The Senate Education Committee didn’t make any decisions about the bill at Wednesday’s meeting. Senator Delph says we can expect to hear more next week about the financial benefits of a statewide school start date.